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The Rachel Maddow Show

News/Business. (2012)

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Us 20, Cia 15, Washington 11, Dick Armey 7, United Nations 6, Obama 6, John Mccain 6, U.s. 6, Afghanistan 6, U.n. 5, Bob Dole 5, Lugar 4, Ho 4, Roger 4, United States 4, United States Senate 3, Mitt Romney 3, New York 3, America 3, Rick Santorum 3,
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  MSNBC    The Rachel Maddow Show    News/Business.  (2012)  

    December 4, 2012
    9:00 - 10:00pm PST  

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cause larger than themselves under the banner of the federal government. these senates don't have that view. there will be another generation coming along. iraq and afghanistan war veterans. it will be interesting to see how they perform. >> great to have you with us tonight. thanks so much. that's "the ed show." "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. >> good evening, ed. thanks. and thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. it was a strange bombshell in washington today. a little bit of news that came from an unexpected source. bob woodward got his hands on an audio recording of the top commanding general in afghanistan meeting off the record with a fox news analyst. the meeting took place last spring. it was general david petraeus who was at the time commander of all u.s. forces in the war in afghanistan. and on the tape, fox news
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analyst says that she was asked by her boss, by the chairman of fox news to pass along some very specific advice for general petraeus. >> if you're offered chairman, take it. if you're offered anything else, don't take it. resign in six months and run for president. okay? and i know you're not running for president, but at some point when you go to new york next, you may want to just chat with roger. i just say what i have suggested and that we've discussed is next time you go to new york you're going to stop by and see him? >> yeah. i'd be happy. i haven't seen him in awhile. he's a brilliant guy. >> he's simply brilliant. >> he is. tell him if i ever ran, but i won't. but if i ever ran, i'd take him up on his offer. he said he would quit fox. and bankroll it.
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>> bankroll it? or maybe i'm confusing that with rupert. >> i know roger he's done okay. but no, i think the one who's bankrolling it is the big boss. >> okay. the big boss is bankrolling it it. roger's going to run it. and the rest of us are going to be your in-house. >> never going to happen. >> my wife would divorce me. and i love my wife. >> tell her it's a beautiful house. >> we have a beautiful house. >> i know. that's the happiest marriage. >> keep your mitts off my dressing room. >> my husband and i have had a very long and happy relationship because we have completely separate bathrooms. >> that's the ticket. >> that is how the tape ends. that recording was made april
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16th of last year. a week and a half later rkts the president announced he was nominating general petraeus to head the cia. right before the president announced him as his choice, the chairman of fox news was urging the general not to take the job, not to take any job short of being the chairman of the joint chiefs. saying he should run for president instead. as a republican against president obama in this past election. and it's all on tape. this is selacious almost to the point. we're talking about general petraeus. long-time republican, possible contender, the man who just resigned from running the cia in a sex scandal we still don't understand. here he is on tape talking about how he will have the fox news chairman run his campaign and the owner of fox news will bankroll his campaign and he
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raises the issue of his wife. there's a certain level of interest in this new tape because of who is on it. beyond that, there's the media factor. here's the fox news channel trying to recruit a presidential candidate for the republican party. the fox news chairman telling bob woodward once he was reporting on this, "i thought the republican field in the primaries needed to be shaken up and petraeus might be a good candidate." he said that on the record. after being caught doing it on tape. which means the fox news channel seriously is not like anything else news. they officially are just a media arm of the republican party. they are a political operation serving the needs of the republican party. that's okay, but we should stop thinking of them as something other than that. it's okay to be that, but that's how they should be seen. there's nobody else in the news who is like that. and the fact we have this recording in the first place is a fascinating mystery.
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who leaked to bob woodward the recording of this conversation between the top commander in afghanistan a week before he was named head of the cia and a fox news correspondent. not many people in the room, so how did this recording end up in the hands of "the washington post" and why? is somebody out to get roger ails at fox news? somebody out to dance on the grave of general petraeus's career? and why did "the washington post" run this in the style section. this is a lot of things. stylish is hard to see as one of them. for all of these reasons, this audio recording is rather salacious news. but buried under that, there's something newsworthy here. not just because the whole thing is juicy and weird and about a sex scandal and in about a weird part of the media and weird part of the republican party. if you listen to the rest of the tape, what you get to it is general petraeus turning down this kind offer from the fox news chairman to run for president and have fox news support him all the way. but in the way he politely turned down roger's advice,
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general petraeus said something that i think might be very important about how the u.s. government works now. and why a man such as himself might want a particular job in washington at a time like this. listen to this part of the tape. this is where general petraeus makes his argument for why in particular running the cia would be a really good job to get. >> an awful lot of what we do in the future, believe it or not in libya right now, perhaps, is with that organization can do. we're going to be retrenching militarily. again, you're going to take big budget cuts and that's going to be all about -- it's going to be the post -- sort of the early 1990s kind of stuff. >> it will be the "peace dividend." >> the other folks on the other hand will be in a growth industry in our intelligence community.
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going to have to be. >> general petraeus telling fox news in this meeting he would be happy not just being named chairman of the joint chiefs, but with the cia director job because they are the same sized jobs or at least they are going to be. arguing that the future of national security in the united states is probably not with the military it's like with the cia. the intelligence community, that's the growth industry. military will be playing a smaller role. cia will be playing a larger role. so you ought to head the cia. that's the new order of things in washington. it's not necessarily the way things are supposed to be. tim weiner, who wrote the history of the cia, gets at that fact in "the new york times" this week writing "before 9/11 the cia's service never assassinated anybody itself.
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since then drone air strikes against suspected foreign terrorists have killed some 2,500 people including civilians without public discussion in congress. intelligence is the hard work of trying to know your enemy. it's not the dirty business of political murder." what the cia has been through is a big change. it's not one we debated much as a country. this meeting between fox news and the man they were trying to line up to become the republican nominee shows us the degree to which this is the common understanding of insiders in washington. while those who are supposed to be debating what our posture is and how things get done, have been left out of the discussion. all but for the style section leaking this tape as if the most important thing is general petraeus revealing the existence
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of his and her's separate bathrooms. we never had a debate about whether the cia should start acting more like the military. the cia started acting more like the military. if there was a time to have that debate, it might be about to happen within the next couple weeks. hillary clinton is going to soon be stepping down from secretary of state. leon panetta does not plan to stay on for president obama. although there's fuzziness around that. and the nation needs a cia director post-david petraeus. now president obama may announce his pick for defense secretary within the next couple weeks and he may make it in a high-powered package announcement along with his choice for secretary of state. so all these jobs coming up, state, defense, cia, all will need to be confirmed by the senate and will be announced maybe at once and before christmas. maybe this is the time to have the debate about the way our national security is run. the debate we did not
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necessarily have before we started making big fundamental changes to that system that mostly just still get discussed behind closed doors. joining us now is senator claire mccaskill, chair of the support subcommittee. thank you for being here. >> it's great to be here. >> you and i have had a lot of interesting conversations over the years about national security. in part, because we have some differences of opinion on it. did i say anything that struck you as a misstatement of the facts? >> it's important to point out that the enemy of today is a much different enemy than the enemy that our country worried about when we were very young, during my parent's generation and their parent's generation. this is an enemy that's all over the world. they have the ability to strike at us as we saw on 9/11. so the necessity that our government be able to have eyes and ears everywhere, learning where terrorists are.
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having said that, we have to marry that with our constitutional principles. and make sure that we stay true to our constitutional principles. and therein lies the challenge. how do we deal with an enemy that doesn't necessarily represent a country. it represents a philosophy. how do we deal with a group of people that are spread around the world with the technology of today, with the ability to strike it at any moment in a way that has fundamentally hurt our country. that's the debate that you're referencing, and i think it's healthy for us to have that debate. >> i feel like the eyes and ears part of it, everybody is on board with. the eyes and ears, the idea of an intelligence agency and why they have the kinds of power they do and where they disavow what they do, because they are supposed to be finding out things in the world. that's why after 9/11, for example, it was the cia who had unarmed drones. the cia was out collecting
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information about forces in the world that might want to do us harm. i'm all for that. the thing that i felt like just started happening that we didn't debate was the cia being used essentially as a branch of the military. the cia being used for not just looking, but for killing. >> i really think that why i can't go into some details here, the decisions to use drones to take out our enemies still rests primarily with our military. in fact, in missouri, there's actually one day i was there and they were saying there's some guys going to fly a mission. and it was guys going into these things that look like temporary buildings and they were flying drones in the whole effort to help along with the turkish government and some of the efforts we were making then as it related to the conflicts in the middle east. so there's primarily, i think, and i think there is
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cooperation, but also keep in mind, some of these drone strikes were effective and did without harm to civilians. sometimes with traditional warfare, it's more dangerous to innocence in the area than highly-sophisticated drone strikes. so while we have to have the debate about drones and who is using them, we have to stay true to our principle. we also need to know we have bad guys that want to bring harm to our country. they aren't all in uniform and they are not all on a military base somewhere. >> with the defense authorization bill getting a 98-0 vote. but looking at some of the amendments there, the passage to urge the president to speed up the withdrawal of troops from afghanistan before his end date in 2014. a vote on a controversial amendment concerning changes to detention. i feel like some of the partisan divisions that we expect and that we remember from the george w. bush era, i feel like some of
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those partisan divisions are getting blurred and you can't predict a person's divisions based on the party? >> i think that's true. it's less prominent in this space than some of the other spaces. obviously, the vote we had today on the disability treaty was painful for many of us. that was a right wing versus all of the democrats in the senate. there are a lot of things in the bill. we have talked about this before. i'm very proud of the sweeping contract reforms we got included. i hope your listeners who know the kind of money we have wasted on abusive contracts in the war space that they stay on the members of congress to make sure it stays in the bill. it's not in the house version. it's going to be a
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conferenceable item. all the reforms, they could really make a difference going forward that we're holding contractors accountable to a standard that americans would feel better about. >> as we have finished the war in iraq and as the end game in afghanistan is starting to become more clear, do you feel like this is the time when we establish new norms for things like contracting, for things like oversight, and for things like what gets debated and what doesn't? i mean, national security challenges are always going to evolve. we'll have something on the horizon. is there a sort of template of lessons that we ought to have learned from the 12 years of war now moving forward that we should get in place now? >> we need to be very careful and thoughtful about the cuts to our military. we have to maintain readiness. anybody who says we can't cut anything out of the pentagon has not spent the time i have in the pentagon. there's been a lot of money wasted through very wasteful
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practices, particularly in the space of contracting. if we don't get this fixed now, we'll be right back repeating the same mistakes the next time that we find ourselves putting men and women's lives at risk on behalf of our nation. >> you feel like the discussions that are happening right now around the defense bill and some of the things you have worked on, you feel like it's potentially ground to move forward? >> i do. and the main thing is to not go on to the next shiny object. we need to stay in this space, make sure we debate the issues fully, set policy clearly and then hold them accountable. hold their feet to the fire and make sure we don't go back to bad habits and some of decisions, people understand what the ground rules are. >> it's times like this you have to be focused on having the best debate. >> that's exactly right. >> congratulations on your win. >> thank you very much.
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>> thank you. nice to see you. we'll be right back. [ woman ] too weak. wears off. [ female announcer ] stop searching and start repairing. eucerin professional repair moisturizes while actually repairing very dry skin. the end of trial and error has arrived. try a free sample at eucerinus.com. is the same frequent heartburn treatment as prilosec otc. now with a fancy coating that gives you a burst of wildberry flavor. now why make a flavored heartburn pill? because this is america. and we don't just make things you want, we make things you didn't even know you wanted. like a spoon fork. spray cheese. and jeans made out of sweatpants. so grab yourself some new prilosec otc wildberry. [ male announcer ] one pill each morning. 24 hours. zero heartburn. satisfaction guaranteed or your money back.
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would not be with nbc or cbs or abc. it would instead be with the arabic news channel. it was a week after his inauguration. >> my job to the muslim world is to communicate that americans are not your enemy. we have not been perfect. we can have disagreements but still be respectful. i cannot respect terrorist organizations, and we will hunt them down. but to the broader muslim world where we're going to be offering is a hand of friendship. >> we're going to be a hand of friendship. president obama used his first tv interview as president to address what he viewed as job one of his new administration. mending our relationship with the the muslim world. after eight years of george bush being america's face to the muslim world. that was his first interview. today barack obama gave his first tv interview since being reelected as president. it was not with nbc or cbs or abc. it was instead with bloomberg
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news. the president sat down with the financial news network bloomberg to talk about job one for his administration now. dealing with the issue that currently has a stranglehold on this nation's policymaking. >> we have the potential of getting a deal done, but it's going to require what i talked about during the campaign, which is a balanced, responsible approach to deficit reduction that can help give businesses certainty and make sure that the country grows. and unfortunately, the speaker's proposal right now is still out of balance. >> sometimes you hear a sound byte and it sounds like the normal talking points of the campaign that you always here, you're always hearing politicians saying the same thing. but listen again to that last thing that the president said there. >> unfortunately the speaker's proposal right now is still out of balance. >> speaker's proposal is out of balance. empirical statement, sort of.
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there's a way to judge whether or not that statement is true. what's happening in washington is both sides, republicans and democrats, are making offers and counteroffers about how to deal with the fiscal mess that they created. this artificial debt line that washington created. the white house made its offer to republicans last week. they sent timothy geithner up to capitol hill to unveil the administration's offer to congressional republicans. the offer was essentially a mix of tax hikes as well as spending cuts, which the democrats are not crazy about. essentially, here are some things. republicans rejected that white house proposal out of hand. they said they were flabbergasted that was put forward as the president's idea of compromise. we have since learned what the republicans' view of compromise is.
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as i mentioned last night, before the election john boehner proposed that revenues could be raised by this much. that's the pile of money there. after the election, which his party lost, he's now offering post-election this much new revenue. so his offer since losing the election got worse. that new offer came in a new outline of proposals that the republicans sent to the president in a letter yesterday. it's a plan that they describe in their letter as "a fair middle ground." here's what they consider a fair middle ground. we did this in chart form today. because it turns out it's really simple. and looking at it this way makes it simple. here's what they are offering. on the side of what the republicans get, the republicans get the tax rates they want, the medicare cuts they want, the trillion dollars in spending
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cuts president obama agreed to, hundreds of billions in additional cuts, ending the payroll tax break, ending jobless benefits and they get the opportunity to create a new debt ceiling crisis in a few months. that's on the republican side, what the republicans get in their proposal. what do the democrats get in their proposal? they get this. a promise to end undefined tax deductions and loopholes of some kind at some point maybe next year. ta da! a fair and balanced middle ground. >> unfortunately, the speaker's proposal right now is still out of balance. >> yes. balance. here's the amazing part, though. after congressional republicans released their plan yesterday, which gives them everything they want and promises democrats that they might get something undefined that they might want maybe some time in the future. we'll talk about it later. after they put forth that sweet
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deal, this was the reaction from the beltway's conservative class. this is genius. sadly, this plan leaves conservatives wanting. wanting what exactly? the declaration that mitt romney is actually president? wanting what? a pony? there's a conservative guy who didn't get his pony. let's add the pony. are you happy? still not happy? this is a game. republicans put forward an offer in which they get everything they want. democrats get nothing, even though democrats won the election. then the republicans have the people on their own side squawk and complain as if what's just happened is such a compromise. they must be giving so much to be upsetting their own side so much. it's total bullpucky. it's fine. everybody knows they are doing this. but if you have been following the back and forth in washington
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[ male announcer ] polident. [ traffic passing ] ] ♪ [ music box: lullaby ] [ man on tv, indistinct ] ♪ [ lullaby continues ] [ baby coos ] [ man announcing ] millions are still exposed to the dangers... of secondhand smoke... and some of them can't do anything about it. ♪ [ continues ] [ gasping ] your crazy uncle who watches fox news all day is worried about this. not the chrysler building, you can see in the middle of the picture. i have always been worried about that. it feels like a cross between a knead l on a record player or on a syringe. but the building that your uncle is all upset about is the one on
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the right there. the greenish one with the nice view across the east river. that building is the world headquarters of the united nations. the place where it might sound like they are talking about putting bike racks in city downtowns. but your crazy uncle know what they really mean is world domination by the antichrist who works at the united nations and is also president obama. there have been far right conspiracy theories about the united nations as long as we have had both the united nations and far right hysterics. but today the far right got loose in the united states senate. it seems to have freaked out even some of the republican party. and that story is next.
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because for 200 years, we've been helping ideas move from ambition to achievement. and the next great idea could be yours. ♪ and the next great idea could be yours. when you take a closer look... ...at the best schools in the world... ...you see they all have something very interesting in common. they have teachers... ...with a deeper knowledge of their subjects. as a result, their students achieve at a higher level. let's develop more stars in education. let's invest in our teachers... ...so they can inspire our students. let's solve this. we will rise. >> today's protest took place this morning. the american public transit association is holding their annual convention. >> i don't care if you're in a wheelchair. you don't run into me.
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>> they were seeking a man mandate for all cities with a public transit system to install wheelchair access. the association opposes this plan. >> they insisted on taking the train or the bus even when the law said they had no such right. except for their bravery that led them to take that stand, they were just regular people. jack warren, who was hauled by police off a city bus on may 19th, 1986. he was hauled off that bus and arrested for the crime of insisting that he should be allowed to ride with everybody else. even though he had a disability and even though he had mobility issues. he was part of a group called "adapt." they were founded in denver in 1983. they are active in cities across the u.s. back then and still now in some cities this footage comes from san francisco in 1986. activists in wheelchairs facing down city buses and police
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officers chaining themselves to the bus wheels, knowing they would be arrested. nothing says asking to pay your fare just like everybody else. pressured by those protests and these activists making their case, it was papa bush who signed the americans with disability act. it was a huge leap forward. it's why we have wheelchair lifts on buss now and curb cuts and sidewalks and instructions in braille on atms. it's why you can bring a service dog with you everywhere. the americans with disability act says you can't be discriminated against because you have a disability. there needs to be some reasonable accommodation made so people with disabilities can access the same public accommodations that we all can. he signed that law in 1990. a quarter century ago. this week senator john mccain said america is a more loving
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and caring nation because we passed the americans with disabilities act. the reason john mccain was saying that publicly this week is because this week the united states senate had been considering a treaty modelled on the act to persuade other countries to do what we have done. to treat our law like the gold standard for all countries, to which all countries should aspire. it's kind of flattering. our civil rights advance, one that was hard fought, but one. so far this treaty has been signed by 154 countries including the u.s. it's been ratified by 126 nations, not including the u.s. president obama, in other words, signed it a couple years ago, but it's not been ratified by the united states senate. to be clear, this treaty would not require anything from us at all. we already have disability rights. it just pushes other countries to do what we have done. we would commit on an
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international level to what we already believe in here. ratifying that treaty would help us lead the rest of the world to catch up to that historic leap that we took as a country when president bush signed that legislation. with the exception of a black helicopter conspiracy theory on the right championed by failed senator rick santorum, he, who i should mention is a columnist at a birther website, that's his job now, except for his nutso theories ratifying this treaty was a political no brainer. it has bipartisan support. this has the real thing. real bipartisan support from leading democrats and leading republicans. this treaty has vocal support from veterans. so many of of them return from war with disabilities. veterans are as potent a constituency on both sides of the aisle.
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decorated veterans john mccain and john kerry, who have been rivals in the senate on everything short of which way is up and which way is down, these men have been bipartisan leaders together on this treaty. the u.n. convention on the rights of persons with disabilities has united the seemingly ununitable. the vote was scheduled today. ratifying a treaty requires 66 votes. former senator bob dole was there at the senate for the occasion. in his wheelchair. the decorated wounded combat veteran, the former republican presidential nominee on the floor of the senate. he was there with his wife. so senators had to walk past him in his wheelchair on the way in to vote. and the republicans in the senate voted no. the treaty got 61 votes, but you need a supermajority to ratify a
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treaty and only eight republicans voted for the treaty. it requires nothing of us. 38 republicans voted no. so it failed. forget republican president, john mccain, war hero, bob dole in his wheelchair in the senate, forget our wounded veterans in their wheelchairs, forget them all. republicans are going with rick santorum and the black helicopter theory instead. now this year in 2012. they did that today. amazing. joining us is steve clemmons. he writes at the washington note and atlantic magazine. steve is also a former policy adviser for new mexico senator jeff bingaman. thank you for being here. >> great to be with you rachel. >> am i being naive to think this was going to pass? >> a lot of people thought it was going to pass. of all the treaties, this would be the easiest to pass. there were other treaties pending.
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this is about people in need and it didn't. this is a branch of the gop that did you want represent all republicans, but it's the obnoxious nationalist wing that really resents any international deal making. there's a lot of worry not just about people with with disabilities, but all the other treaties that position the united states and show that it can be the primary sculptor of global affairs, and we're defecting from that as of today's vote. >> so 126 countries ratifying this, but us, not ratifying it. particularly when it's modelled on our law. that takes us out of a global leadership role? >> it leaves a void that the united states is walking away from the responsibility of primary leadership in the world of sculpting global affairs in the world that are good for others in the world. what was tragic about today this lifted up standards in the rest of the world. john kerry made a mistake on the
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floor. he was saying support the u.n. on this. it's not supporting the u.n. it's supporting americans with with disabilities. when they go to saudi arabia, when they go to china, india, when they go around the world, this is saying the other places dignity and respect and access matter for people. and the terms of equality that exist in law, should apply to those with disabilities. i can't believe that would be controversial and you would have essentially only 61 senators in the united states senate vote yes on this. >> the republicans, i'm not going to go into rick santorum's black helicopter conspiracy theory on this because i don't want to dignify it with verbiage, but i recognize the republicans have crazy conspiracy theories about the u.n. the thing that strikes me about this one in particular is that you had bob dole and john mccain and all these republicans. >> none of them can be republicans today. they are talking about chuck
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hagel. possibly getting a position in the republican administration. what is bob dole? what is john mccain? are they rhinos? that's what it means is that the republican party has moved so far away from their standard bearers. i think it was one of the saddest thing i have seen to see these senators walk by bob dole, salute him and vote against him. >> saying if you want to travel abroad, we're going to take no responsibility for ensuring your dignity and respect abroad. i know that you have been in touch with senator lugar and with senator hagel recently. senator lugar is in a poignant spot in his career leaving the senate after being primaried by somebody who lost in the general election. president obama paying elaborate tribute to dick lugar talking on
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issues of nuclear security. when you talked with them, what are they expressing about the views about what's happening? >> i think they are concerned. they are concerned in a constructive way. just as i have heard to be honest democrats express concern about movements. when i listen to richard lugar talk about the face of american internationalism and this used to be an easy place for democrats and republicans to stand together and to support a principled engagement in the world that lugar and others that are no longer in the senate like hagel and others that left the party and became independents, there's a group of republicans that said this isn't working for us. what you have seen is a senator not that many. talk about anymore but you see the ghost o of jesse helms in all of this. he was the senator in the 1990s. suspended our payments to the united nations. it was during his tenure in
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foreign relations that many of the so-called conspiracies, the signs with the united nations were everywhere. ban the u.n. and it was the year of the child. it was like this. people believed that they were going to be told how to raise their children. and that's what essentially came. the home schooling league began to animate voters because they believe this treaty would somehow circumvent sovereignty and people losing control of their children. it's a fantastical, horrible interpretation of a treaty that would have been good for us. you don't want to talk about santorum, but he's a lawyer. he was a lawyer before he ran. he knows better than what he did. lugar is the best in the republican party. a great leader, a great principled person who made the entire world safe. but i tell you, the united states is in a fragile place in the rest of the world.
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a lot of our allies doubt our ability to stand with them when they are in trouble when we have these things. we need to communicate to them we are going to be there. when you look at the cast of cards and the cast of characters, it it looks doubtful. >> the fact they are not new tells you something. they are ready to be taft by politicians who don't have the better angels in mind. the fact that that's where they are going after this election is stunning. steve clemmons, thank you for being here. >> thank you. >> we'll be right back. ♪
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do you remember school picture day in junior high? it turn out we subject our elected officials to that humiliation as well. like your photos put those awkward photos of you on the frig where they remain today, feathered hair and all, the u.s. printing office hopefully keeps a record of our elected officials' official class pictures. these are from 1999. the 106th congress. this is dick armey's official class picture.
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when mother jones broke the story yesterday about his contentious break-up with the fake grassroots koch brothers group freedom works, they demanded that armey be paid until his contract ended on december 31st. that they remove his name, image, or signature from all its letters, print media, fundraising material and social media and that he demanded, that freedom works deliver the copy of his official congressional portrait to his home in texas. someone at freedom works, is there somebody who is bummed? i don't want to part with my official portrait of dick armey. it looks so great in the office! is this even the portrait in question? or is there a fancier portrait that he is demanded freedom works send to his home following their big acrimonious break-up? now we know that it turns out, freedom works will be sending hole to texas more than just dick armey's congressional portrait.
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the associated press reporting today that they acquired a confidential contract that shows that dick armey agreed to quit freedom works back in september in exchange for -- $8 million. holy grassroots, batman. it was worth $8 million to freedom works to make dick armey go away. for his part he said it is a matter of principle. that was the quote from him. my differences with freedom works are a matter of principle. which means on the $8 million check that you write to me please put principle in the memo line. that's why i'm leaving. principle. there are few aspects of this story that could do with a little more reporting. and tonight politico.com has add some details to this mystery. they're reporting that the entire dick armey freedom works breakup was over the issue of who would get to profit financially from a book deal the
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organization was involved in. it was a book ultimately published earlier this year. there are details on the $8 million payout to old grassroots dick armey that was apparently conditioned on his station through the presidential election. mr. armey told politico if he left before the election, quote, the concern was that the story in the press, that the story the press would write is that the whole tea party movement was in a state of disarray. that was probably a fairly reality based concern to have, and we wanted the organization to survive and do well and the movement to survive and do well. that was one of the reasons why we were concerned about me leaving before the election. why would anybody think the tea party movement is in disarray? the right seems to be imploding since the election, which we expected. it turns out though that the unexpected thing is that the implosion will happen very, very slowly. day by day by day with new acrimonious details dripping out in every news cycle. this holiday, share everything.
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about a week after the election, president obama met with ceos from g.e., hi, former bosses, american express and he eckna and xerox and dow chemical and ibm and she have ron and proctor and gamble. then home depot, goldman sachs, merck, coca-cola, macy's, yahoo, comcast, hi, current boss, marriott, at&t, it is not quite the entire fortune 500 but it's close. it is about to get closer. tomorrow there is a third meeting. the president speaking to another 100 or so ceos in
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washington. that makes three meetings with ceos in four weeks. this personal attention from the president has led to lots of positive statements from business leaders. for example, the head of marriott calling the president, quote, resoundingly reasonable. and yes, that is same marriott corporation that just put mitt romney back on the board of directors after his loss in the presidential election to that resoundingly reasonable president obama. mr. romney may have lost african-americans and latinos and women and young people and gay people and single people and independents and everybody in the country who makes $50,000 a year or less, but you know, mitt romney did do awesome with business guys. look back at 2008 and these were some of barack obama's top contributors in 2008. as you can see, lots of financial company and banks, wall street guys. when you look, fast forward to 2012, they all fled to become mitt romney's top contributors.
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and after those guys lost with mitt romney, since the election, the outreach from the president to the business world has frankly been a lot. it has been early, frequent, repeated, intense. from the friendly response from the business leaders after these meetings, even from the ones who supported mitt romney. it does not seem like the president is calling these business leaders to the white house to read them the riot act. it does not seem like he is trying to exact political revenge. it seal like he is trying to get them on board with his agenda, particularly for his side of the negotiations with congressional republicans over the bush tax cuts and the stimulus and the deficit. this president seems to have a thick skin if letting bygones be bygones does not come naturally to him as a man, he is doing a convincing job as a president. getting the business community to be message multipliers and supporters of his on basic economic issues. it makes sense. what about accountability? and here's what i mean. the big business guys who really, really really wanted president mitt romney. they spent through the roof to

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